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Navel VS Blood Orange Fruit: What Are The Differences?

Blood Orange Fruit

While there are a wide variety of oranges available, find out why the navel orange and blood orange fruit are two of the most interesting in the citrus family.

Everyone knows that eating more fruits and vegetables is the key to a healthy diet. But do you know which citrus fruit is best for you? If you don't know your navel orange from your blood orange fruit then you've come to the right place.

We'll take you through some of the key differences between these two citrus family fruits. Some come with us and vitamin C what we have to offer!

Check out our blood orange trees and navel orange trees for sale!

Color

The name alone should be a giveaway, but the blood orange fruit has a strikingly different coloration than the navel orange. In fact, it is the rich, ruby coloring that gives the blood orange its name.

The navel orange is more classically orange, both in its peel and in the juicy fruit within. The blood orange, by contrast, while still retaining its orange peel, hides a deep blood-red fruit. But does the rich pigmentation provide any additional nutritional benefit?

Nutritional Content

As it turns out, yes...

There isn't much of a difference in the calories and vitamin levels between the two types of oranges. Both navel orange and blood orange fruits offer upwards of 50mg of vitamin C. This is almost 100% of the RDA of vitamin C for a healthy adult.

The difference comes in the level of antioxidants present in the blood orange fruit. The red pigmentation unique to the blood orange is a result of increased levels of anthocyanins. This is a natural antioxidant found in lesser amounts in all oranges.

According to the Oxford Academic, a moderate intake of anthocyanins can result in reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and conditions like type-2 diabetes. It is also associated with better weight maintenance and neuroprotection. It might be time to switch to blood oranges?

Aroma

Everyone is familiar with the sweet smell of an orange. But it may surprise you to know that there is a distinct difference between the smell of a navel orange and a blood orange.

The blood orange is considered to be the most aromatic orange in the family. Moreso, even, than the naval orange. It is this distinct smell, combined with the unique coloration that sets blood oranges apart from the rest of the citrus family.

Taste

Oranges might be pretty to look at, but arguably the most important factor is the taste.

The navel orange, being the most common grocery store fruit in the orange family has a taste most of us are familiar with. Navel oranges are juicy yet bitter, more so than other oranges in the citrus family.

A blood orange, by contrast, has a more tart and sweet flavor. The blood orange fruit is also considerably more juicy than the navel orange. For that reason, you'll need to be careful when biting into it, lest that sweet nectar is spilled.

Blood Orange Fruit - The Citrus Apex?

It's clear that, while both members of the same family, there are some key differences between the navel orange and the blood orange fruit. At the end of the day, regardless of looks or nutritional value, it almost always comes down to personal taste.

However, if you're looking for a juicier, less bitter, more nutritional alternative to the conventional orange, perhaps it's time to consider switching to the blood orange?

Grow your own blood orange trees and navel orange trees with ease!

If you're interested in discovering more great citrus articles then we've got you covered on our Citrus Simplified blog.

At US Citrus, we also offer leading citrus fruits, citrus trees, and the perfect gift for a loved one - wonderful citrus fruit gift baskets.

More Articles Related to Blood Oranges & Navel Oranges:

How to Tell When an Orange is Ripe and Ready to Eat

When to Pick Oranges

Depending on the variety of orange you're growing, harvest season may be as early as March and as late as December. Learn when to pick oranges below!

Oranges are often associated with summer, with their bright colors and sweet tangy flavors. But did you know that orange harvests happen throughout almost the entire year?

If you're a beginner orange farmer, it's hard to know when your specific species of orange is ripe enough and ready to eat. With all those delicious flavors waiting for you, sometimes it's hard to wait for the right time.

That's why we're here to help you learn when to pick oranges. Keep reading to learn all you need to know to have the best orange harvest possible!

Color is Not The Only Factor

While that iconic bright orange color does make it seem as though the orange should be ripe, that's not always true. Some oranges, such as satsumas, keep a little green on their peel while still being ripe and juicy.  

Oranges turn from green to orange due to the change in temperature. The chlorophyll leaves the peel, changing its color from one to the other. This means the fruits can be orange in color while still needing more time to ripen.

Wait for the Right Season

As you grow your oranges, it's a good idea to know the specific time to start looking for ripeness. For example, pineapple oranges go ripe anywhere between November and February. Navel oranges, on the other hand, go from November into June.

Each variety has a wide span of months in which they ripen, so make sure to look up your specific variety in preparation for harvesting. If it's not the right month for your orange species, chances are good that they're not ready.

Look for Sweet Smells

Ripe oranges have a sweet and fragrant smell to them. As you go through your orange tree looking for the best ones, only pick the ones that have a strong fragrance.

Avoid anything that smells moldy or sharp, as these scents indicate that the orange is not at peak ripeness. Not all oranges ripen at the same rate, so it's good to be a little extra picky to get the best ones.

Taste Test is Key

The best and most fool-proof method of orange picking is by picking the one you think is good and eating it. It's an easy test that tells you in an instant whether or not your oranges are right for picking.

If you're looking to harvest the entire tree, test one for its flavor before taking all of the oranges. Otherwise, only pick the oranges with the same quality as the one you tasted to ensure that you're getting a similar ripeness!

Knowing When to Pick Oranges Comes With Experience

If you still feel a little unsure about when to pick oranges, that's okay. Time and experience with your fruit tree make the whole process a lot easier over the years.

When dealing with orange trees, it's not an exact science and each harvest is different than the next. But after you have a few harvests under your belt, you'll have a better understanding of how your specific orange tree grows. Harvests will be a breeze after that!

Looking to get started with your very own orange tree? Check out our exotic collection of orange trees and fast-growing citrus trees here!

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Can You Pick a Favorite? Your Expert Guide to Types of Oranges

Types of Oranges

There are so many delicious oranges to choose from, we can't pick just one citrus! Here is a guide to the many types of oranges to try. What will you choose?

Did you know that there are only two different categories of oranges?

Each category has several varieties within, making orange decisions a little more complicated.

All oranges fall into the category of either sweet or bitter, so which ones do you prefer?

Continue reading to discover the popular types of oranges and what each one has to offer.

The Expert Guide on Types of Oranges 

As mentioned above, oranges can be sweet or bitter, however, there have been some hybrids that we have all come to love. 

If you are looking to grow your own citrus tree, oranges shouldn't be overlooked when making your selection. They have many health benefits and taste amazing. Growing a tree isn't too difficult and gives you the ability to readily have oranges that you can eat and cook with. 

So what are some of the types of oranges that you can choose from? 

1. Blood Orange

This is an extremely unique type of orange, it has a thicker peel and on the inside is a bright ruby red color that resembles blood (hence the name).

Blood oranges are both sweet and tart and give off a strong fragrance that will make your mouth water. They are dense and filled with a lot of juice, making it a perfect option for smoothies, snacking, and cooking with.   

2. Navel Orange

Navel oranges are the standard type of orange that nearly every grocery store or market has to offer. 

They have a thick skin but are easy to peel and go great with salads and for afternoon snacks. Navel oranges are not as juicy as compared to blood oranges and they offer a more bitter taste. 

3. Mandarin Orange

Mandarin oranges are often much smaller than other types of oranges and have a sweeter taste with little acidity. 

The thin skin that they have makes them easy to peel so that you can get your citrus easily. Clementines and tangerines fall into this variety of orange, which is very popular among consumers. 

Mandarin oranges are excellent sources of Vitamin A and C, making them a healthy option to snack on. 

4. Bergamot Orange 

Have you ever had Earl Grey tea? 

If so, you may be familiar with the taste of a bergamot orange because it's peel is used in the tea. Not only is it a main ingredient for tea time, but it is also used as a perfume.

Bergamot orange has a unique fragrance that you won't forget. It can be either yellow or green, depending on how ripe it is, and is a hybrid of bitter orange and lemon. 

5. Valencia Orange

The Valencia orange is a sweet option that won't have you disappointed in the summer when it is harvested.  

Many people believe that they come from the city in Spain, but they, in fact, come from California. They are one of the most popular types consumed because of their delicious taste and abundance of juice. 

Orange You Glad You Know All the Types? 

There are many different types of oranges and trees to choose from, and each option is unique in its own way. 

Selecting your favorite orange can be difficult because each one has benefits and can be used for a variety of dishes, drinks, jams, and perfumes. 

Be sure to take a look at the citrus trees we offer so that you can select your favorite one and have it in your home to grow an abundance of delicious oranges! 

6 Orange Juice Smoothie Recipes to Super-Charge Your Day

Orange Juice Smoothie Recipes

Nothing beats a citrus smoothie for a convenient healthy vitamin boost. Try these refreshing orange juice smoothie recipes for a great start to your day.

Oranges pack a powerful nutritional citrus punch, with one orange giving you the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for citrus plus health-boosting flavonoids that protect us from bad boys like heart disease and cancer.

Flavonoids also offer a one-two punch when it comes to fighting inflammation, viruses, and bacteria. And thanks to vitamin A and B plus the calcium, fiber, and potassium they contain, they're a fabulous way to start your day.

And if you hook them up with other goodies in a tasty orange juice smoothie, you're really set.

To give you some ideas for this fabulous breakfast option, we've put together six of our favorite recipes with orange juice for you to try. Keep reading to see which pop out at you, then grab your blender and give your favorites a try.

1. Berry Blast

We love this one because the yogurt gives it that rich texture. Plus, it tastes delicious!

Add the following to your blender:

  • Fresh-squeezed orange juice -- 3/4 cup
  • Your choice/mix of fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries, strawberries -- 6 to 7 ounces
  • Plain Greek or another yogurt -- 4 to 5 tbsp.
  • Ice -- a handful of cubes
  • Fresh mint -- a few leaves

Blend and enjoy!

2. Frothy Wonder

Think fresh and frothy on top with this wonderful delight. It's especially great on hot summer mornings because it's so light but tasty.

Add the following to your blender:

  • Fresh-squeezed orange juice -- 3/4 cup
  • Fresh or frozen banana
  • Whole milk or the thickest of your favorite nondairy delight -- 1/4 cup
  • Ice -- a handful of cubes
  • Vanilla (extract) -- 1/4 tsp.

Blend and enjoy!

When we make our smoothies, we use oranges picked from our own fruit trees. Somehow they just taste so much better. Then again, growing citrus fruit trees is our thing. But it can be yours too. 

We like to use navel oranges as they give you so much sweet juice. If interested, check out these easy tips on growing navel oranges successfully.

3. Coconut Strawberry Crush

This one is so refreshing. And we love the coconut flavor under the citrus and strawberry blast.

Add the following to your blender:

  • Fresh, peeled orange -- 1
  • Fresh strawberries -- 2 1/2 cups
  • Coconut milk fresh or from the market-- 1/2 cup
  • Ice -- a handful of cubes

Blend and enjoy!

4. Fabulous Fig Sweetness

This smoothie is for those of you with a sweet tooth. It's so tasty!

Add the following to your blender:

  • Fresh-squeezed orange juice -- 3/4 cup
  • Fresh or frozen bananas -- 2
  • Fresh figs -- 6
  • Whole milk or the thickest of your favorite nondairy delights -- 1/4 cup
  • Ice -- a handful of cubes

Blend and enjoy!

5. Super Green Go Get 'Em

This one gives you all the extra nutrients that come with fresh greens like spinach. Get ready for a huge energy boost to start your day.

Add the following to your blender:

  • Fresh-squeezed orange juice -- 1 cup
  • Fresh or frozen bananas -- 2
  • Fresh apples -- 2
  • Fresh or frozen strawberries -- 1 cup
  • Fresh baby spinach or kale -- 2 cups
  • Ice -- a handful of cubes

Blend and enjoy!

6. Sweet 'N Rich Surprise

The surprise here is avocado. You may think, "yuck," who wants avocado mixed with the sweet flavors? Well, try it before you say anything because avocado is great sweet in a smoothie, just like it is in ice cream!

Add the following to your blender:

  • Fresh-squeezed orange juice -- 1 cup
  • Fresh avocado -- 1
  • Fresh or frozen strawberries -- 4
  • Vanilla yogurt -- 1/2 cup
  • Honey -- 1 tsp.
  • Ice -- a handful of cubes

Blend and enjoy!

Try Your Favorite Orange Juice Smoothie

Now that you have our favorites when it comes to orange juice smoothie recipes, it's time for you to grab your blender and give them a go.

Did any of these orange smoothie recipes pop out at you? Start there!

And once you get hooked, you might want to grow your own citrus! This is a great option if you live in a warm enough climate like California, Texas, and Florida. With US Citrus trees, you can grow citrus indoors or out!

These trees produce a lot of fruit and you can make sure to grow organically so you have the healthiest citrus. Plus, it's quite fun and satisfying when you know you're drinking oranges that you grew!

Dive into our citrus blog for citrus growing advice, delicious citrus recipes and more!

Everything You Need to Know About Caring for an Indoor Orange Tree

Caring for an Indoor Orange Tree

Searching for tips on how to care for your indoor orange tree? Continue reading below to get all of the facts you need to help your orange tree thrive!

Fun fact: Oranges don't grow in the wild. They've been around for literal ages. But they're a domesticated hybrid between the pomelo and mandarin.

So when you think about it, growing an indoor orange tree is your duty to humanity. 

Of course, now you're probably asking yourself, "But how on earth do I even grow an orange tree indoors? There's not enough light for a citrus tree indoors! Isn't that why they're grown in Florida and South Texas?"

We hear you. But not only is growing oranges indoors possible, but your tree can also thrive — you just need to know a few tips about how to grow an orange tree indoors.

Keep the Temperature in Check

As a rule of thumb, your indoor citrus tree will die if the temperature gets below 10 degrees F for 10 hours or 20 degrees F for 20 hours. It's OK to place your tree outside for some light, but when the winter weather starts getting rough, it's time to pull it in. 

Just note the exact temperature citrus houseplants thrive in might vary from variety to variety. So check with your citrus seller. 

Let There Be Light

The light for a citrus tree is very important. Your indoor orange tree needs at least five or six hours of direct sunlight a day. A south-facing window is a sweet spot when growing citrus indoors. 

But note that your window has to be physically hot to the touch to provide enough light. For times when it's not, you can buy a special grow light for citrus trees. 

It's Not a Dry Heat

Orange trees also like humidity. It keeps them cool and encourages orange blossom growth.

Naturally humid rooms like the kitchen or bathroom are great places if you can swing it. If not, put your indoor orange tree on a pebble tray and mist the leaves with cool water to raise the humidity. 

Speaking of Water

Believe it or not, indoor orange trees' water needs aren't too different from another more boring houseplant. 

In the summer, they'll need regular watering. Once or twice a week should do. During the winter, however, do make sure you let the soil dry out between waterings.

Overwatering is no better than under-watering

Pro tip: Put a bucket outside to catch rainwater. That's their favorite treat. 

Feed Me, Seymour

Citrus trees are hungry little buggers. Feed them regularly — every second watering should do — with a high-potassium feed during spring and summer. If you take care of them, they'll return the favor with better fruit.

We recommend Nelson Plant Food

Don't Forget to Prune

Indoor orange trees do need a lot of pruning. You don't want the branches to get overcrowded. If they do, make sure you get them pruned by February. And it may seem counterintuitive, but cutting back the tallest branches actually encourages better growth. 

Buying an Indoor Orange Tree

From Valencia to blood orange, mandarin and more, there is a wide variety of indoor orange trees to choose from. They all have different uses. So think of how you'll likely eat them when making your decision.

Or get more than one! It's OK to be greedy. Now, let's go pick out your indoor orange tree!